Last year it was Jason Kapono and Troy Murphy that the Lakers salvaged from the NBA scrap yard. This year it could be Antawn Jamison or Jermaine O’Neal that gets themselves a purple and gold jersey and the spotty playing time that comes with being coached by Mike Brown.
One name already off the Lakers’ discounted shopping list is Elton Brand who began the day rumored to be an L.A. target only end up a waiver claim by the Dallas Mavericks
. If there’s one team out there more desperate than the Lakers to ink has-been players it’s Dallas. The Mavs are reeling as their championship hangover continues.
However you slice it the Lakers are hanging on to whatever slim hopes they have of avoiding a Mavericks meltdown in the coming years. This roster is getting older at a time when they really need to start thinking about adding more youth.
Jamison is at the ripe age of 36 and his best days are very much in the rearview. Once known as a steady shooter about the only steady in Antwan’s game these days is poor production. His presence wouldn’t do much to give the Lakers the depth they so greatly lacked last season. But it would be more than what O’Neal would likely contribute.
The lockout shortened season was a wash for JO as he sat out most of the year with a wrist injury. Let’s also not forget his knees have made him a mere shadow of his former self. Though the Lakers could use more size to backup Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol it means nothing to have a player that will likely be struggling with health issues.
Currently the team is in talks with Jordan Hill in attempts to get the athletic big back to Los Angeles. After doing next to nothing for most of his time as a Laker, the man that Derek Fisher was traded for exploded with a late season surge that was sparked by a breakout performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Hill also put together some solid efforts in the postseason so retaining his services is crucial.
As for Jamison and O’Neal…Mitch Kupchak would be better served by having his coaches continuing to develop guys like Hill and Devin Ebanks. They still have some upside where as Jamison and O’Neal have nowhere to go but down.